October 10, 2006    

I have been asked by some to use larger lettering for these notes to make them a little easier to read. (And to tell the truth, due to the ravages of Father Time, my old eyes are beginning to have difficulty printing and reading what I have written as well.) So I have increased the font from "11" to "12" to accommodate those asking for larger print..

(We are currently having so much taking place in Jellico that I am putting out extra editions to keep everybody up on what is happening!)

The weather forecast for last Friday and Saturday did not hold exactly as predicted - but suddenly changeable weather is certainly nothing new to our area and we many long years ago learned to accept that fact.. But although the temperature was a little cooler than we would have liked, we were blessed with mostly sunshine for the Fest and as many stated, it's now Autumn and we have to expect the temperatures to be dropping.

I know that Tourism Jake Bennett had to be exhausted by the time the very successful activity ended.. His organizational work kept things going in spite of all the problems that usually pop us during such an involved event.

I don't know how many -if any -customers that it created for local merchants. But all of the participating vendors with whom I talked stated that they did a booming business. And business operators with whom I talked are glad we have such activities as well.

The activities were varied, the music was great and as someone questioned late Saturday night, "In what other small town could you meet and talk with one of the nation's top impersonators of Abraham Lincoln and at the same time watch a true American hero fly his jet plane over the stage in salute to our town?" (I sure hope that our youngsters did both. It was a moving and great learning experience.)

No matter how hard I might try, there is no way in the world that I can thank everyone who participated and/or contributed to the success of the Fest. But every contribution is greatly appreciated in creating and maintaining a true "community event". (I had not had opportunity to gather all of the award winners at the time these notes were written but Jake always compiles them and releases them to local media.)

That was a "blockbuster" weekend but get ready for another blockbuster Saturday this week (October 14th). The sponsors of the very popular wrestling shows in Veterans Park will have yet another wrestling in Veterans this Saturday starting at 4:00 PM that will end sometime around 6:00 PM.. Some very popular local and area wrestlers are scheduled to face off in a full slate of matches. Wrestling fans will love it!

Then get ready for the very popular BILL RIGNEY AND FAMILY SINGERS who will take the stage at 7:00 PM for three hours of great singing until 10:00 PM.. And it's for sure that those who love good country and gospel with a little popular music mixed in will likewise love their performance.

As always, both the wrestling and singing are free of charge!

Come to Veterans Park to enjoy some of our last activities of the season and be sure to bring a jacket and/or sweater just in case they are needed.. (Don't forget the lawn chair.) Concessions will be available.

Remember! We can't let the progress die - including keeping the activities alive and well again next spring, summer and fall!

And on the subject of activities, a reminder that Jellico High School Homecoming is now just a very few days away (October 20-22).. I have had a lot of e-mail leading up to homecoming. Most of the information that has been requested can be found by calling up


and then scrolling down to the link "Jellico High School Alumni Association"

Local motel advance reservations are described as "pretty good" this year. But those with whom I have talked expect a significant increase in their numbers this week.

I wrote last week concerning the new Family Drug Center commercial sign on South Main Street that indicates the time and temperature.. And the Union Bank has added a very nice touch to their sign on Fifth Street That colorful background that has been added grabs your attention - as well as publicizing local events.

I try to mention every business in these notes that do anything to improve the appearance of our town at the time that the improvements are made. It is not possible for me to include everyone and everything but I make every effort to do so.

Likewise I attempt to recognize all individuals who are making contributions or have made outstanding contributions in the past. Generally those I write about extensively come about due to requests from our citizens.

An example of that is the article that I wrote concerning the late Dr. Charles Prater. I was besieged with requests to do an extensive article about Dr. Prater following his passing and I honored those requests. I received favorable personal and e-mail comment after favorable personal and e-mailed comment from folks - many that I do not even know. And I was thanked over and over at the recent Jellico Clinic reunion at Indian Mountain State Park for the article that I did citing the fact that Dr. Ned Watts, Dr. Carl Ausmus and Dr. Prater (article dated week of September 10, 2006) were all founders and contributors at the original Jellico Hospital that later became the Clinic.

I sincerely apologize for leaving out any deserving folks but there have been hundreds and even thousands of contributing individuals throughout our town's history and there is no way that I can include them all in such a publication as these notes.

I understand that I have been charged with only writing about those things that serve my purposes. And that statement is definitely true! My purposes are to inform and entertain our citizens, and my writing is certainly directed toward serving those purposes.

I was amazed to learn that the Buck's had found the original frieze, trim, fašade or whatever the correct name is for the decorative top of their building that dates back to 1917 that had been stored away for many, many years. Porky was able to do a great restoration job on it - removing any trace of some very large dents in the metal that are no longer even visible.. The colors of the entire front of that building now sure present a much brighter and pleasing appearance for the middle of the downtown.

With the combined efforts of our citizens, and a progressive Mayor/Council our town just continues to look better and better.. And as I constantly emphasize, if we all stay at the task, Jellico is eventually going to be completely restored. And that time grows closer and closer with every improvement that is made!

I walked around the new sidewalk trail at the baseball parks on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately the original objective of circling the entire area had to be cut down to only the grassed area between the railroad crossing and the fields. Much of the intended area is considered marshland and including that area with a concrete walkway could have resulted in problems with environmental regulations pertaining to wetlands. (I saw a couple of wild ducks feeding in that area while I was walking.)

However the change only shortens the route and the original purpose of a sidewalk/ walking trail is still intact.. And folks who like to walk and those who attend games, can all walk around the circle whenever they choose - in addition to having a nice walkway leading from the parking area to the fields.

(Remember that Alla Faye Rutherford will sponsor a "health walk" on the new walkway some evening within the next few days/weeks - starting and returning to Veterans Park. Here's hoping that we will have good community participation.)

I had also planned to walk the area for the proposed new across-town residential development but with all of the activities taking place in Jellico, I was unable to find the time to do so. But I am already very familiar with the area and as I wrote last week, I am anxious to see the final site plans when they are brought before the Jellico Planning Commission - possibly during the November meeting.

I certainly do not want to fail to congratulate our football team and coaches for last Friday night's win.. Hard work usually pays off in the long haul and living where I do, I have had opportunity to observe all of the extremely hard work being put in by the players and coaches during some sweltering temperatures. You always play to win now but you also build for the future. And the Blue Devils barring transfers, injuries, etc. will have some players returning next season that make us all anticipate the team's future.

And speaking of football, has anyone every witnessed a more complete turn-around in a game that what took place Saturday night? The last score that I heard while working the Fest was Georgia 24 -7 over our Vols and I was sure dreading going home to watch the rest of the game with some Dawg fans. But needless to say, I soon felt much better!

Webmaster's note: I couldn't resist adding this picture....

JOHN CLIFTON, Mayor, City of Jellico

E-mail me at: mayor@jellico.tn.us

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